IMG_1632It is not infrequently said that the desert has its own kind of beauty.  I don’t know who said it but I have heard it quoted.  Frankly, it’s something that accept and in fact believe.

My first junket into the South Texas brush land reminded me of this old adage.  Sunny skies seemed most appropriate.  Flat landscape for miles was the order of the scenery.

Mountains did not exist.  Occasional gullies or mounds of sand broke the monotony of the landscape.  That, however, was while we were bombing down the highway at posted speeds.

When I left the vehicle behind and began to walk, things began to look very unique.  A rabbit scampered across my path.  It paused to turn around and look at me.  Then, it disappeared into the brush.

A few more steps and I was startled by a covey of quail.  They flushed from a low growing shrub.  I don’t know how they remained hidden until I was right on them.

My boots kicked up sand as I continued my hike.  Ahead a road runner scurried quickly across the dirt road.  He was after a morsel for his morning meal.  They are curious looking creatures and move with such swiftness, that only a creative God could have called that remarkable bird into being.

Then, I paused.  My eyes were captured by the oddity of a cactus.  Odd might be a harsh term, more characteristic of me as a city dweller than someone who appreciates life in its various forms.

The oval green paddles of this cactus are curious.  They are lined with prickly thorns.  Animals would not want to get close let alone nibble on these painful guardians of the ground.

Here is the desert in part of its beauty.  No other plants around were as green.  Clearly there was special life in these plants most suited for desert living.

The long-standing drought in the desert has killed some much of the grasslands and shrubbery.  The cactus keeps on staying around and growing, albeit growing slowly.  Its unique almost exclusive display of green was remarkable.

In some ways it seems like a chaotic undisciplined growth.  Then, on closer examination, God designed the plant with remarkable symmetry.  The paddles were the same shape.  There very little that haphazard about the Creator’s masterpiece of thorny growth.

It is certainly different.  This plant is not a copy-cat.  That in itself is beautiful.

photo credit: brucefong photography